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Unió Catalanista (Political party, Spain)

Catalanist Union

Last modified: 2019-08-28 by ivan sache
Keywords: unió catalanita |
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Flag of Unió Catalanista - Image by Ivan Sache, 13 March 2019

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Presentation of Unió Catalanista

Unió Catalanista was established in March 1891 in Barcelona as a reaction to Article 15 of the Spanish Civil Code adopted in 1889, which restrained the Catalan rights.
Unió Catalanista adopted on 25 and 27 March 1892 the Bases of the Catalan Regional Constitution, soon known as the Manresa Bases for the town where the group had met. Considered as the foundation of political Catalanism of conservative orientation, the Manresa Bases called for the re-establishment of the Catalan historical institutions, such as the Cortes and the Supreme Court of Catalonia, the adoption of Catalan as the sole official language, and the grant of extended financial and executive power to Catalonia. The Manresa Bases were presented to Queen Regent Maria Christina (1885-1903) on 6 July 1900.

In 1893, the annual assembly of Unió Catalanista, held in Reus, split in a group organized around the union's unofficial review La Renaixensa (published from 1871 to 1905), advocating political neutrality, and a group led by Enric Prat de la Riba (1870-1917; President of the Barcelona Provincial Council, 1907-1914, and of the Commonwealth of Catalonia, 1914-1917; also founder of the Institute for Catalan Studies, 1907) that planned to enter the political struggle. Prat de la Riba and Pere Muntanyola (1870-1948) published in 1895 a Compendium of the Catalanist Doctrine, which defined Catalonia as a proper and distinct nation, and was banned by the Spanish authorities.
Prat de la Riba founded in 25 April 1901 the Lliga Regionalista, as the merger of Centre Nacional Català and Unió Regionalista, claiming the leadership of conservative Catalanism.

Domènec Martí i Julià (1861-1917), President of Unió Catalanista (1903-1906), transformed the group into a left-oriented party. Re-elected President in 1914, Martí proposed in 1916 the dissolution of the party, to no avail, and left it. In spite of its progressive decline, Unió Catalanista secured a seat in the Catalan Parliament in 1932. The party was eventually suppressed in 1936 when the Civil War broke out.
[Puzzle de la Historia]

Ivan Sache, 13 March 2019

Flag of Unió Catalanista

The flag of Unió Catalanista, kept in the Montserrat Museum (photo, photo, photo), was designed in 1903 after a drawing made by the modernist artist Alexandre de Riquer i Ynglada (1856-1920), 7th Count of Dávalos. The flag was inaugurated on 1 June 1903 in the Poblet monastery, in the presence of the medical doctor and writer Josep Maria Roca i Heras (1863-1930). After the required speeches, the Orfeó Català performed La nostra bandera (Our Flag), a piece composed especially for the event by Lluís Millet i Pagès (1867-1941) on lyrics by Joan Maragall i Gorina (1860-1911).

The adoption of a flag by the Unió Catalanista was suggested three years before by the Sabadell-borne poetess Agnès Armengol i de Badia (1852-1954). On 14 April 1900, she sent a letter to the Permanent Board of Unió Catalanista, requiring "for the Catalan women the high honor to offer a flag to the Unió Catalanista that worthily symbolizes its power, rights and aspiration". The proposal was accepted four months later by the Board, then presided by Manuel Folguera i Duran (1867-1951).
On St. George's Day 1900, Armengol launched a people's subscription open to all women, "from the noble dame to the modest worker", to raise funds for a flag "of corporate style". On St. George's Day 1902, more than 5,000 pesetas had been collected; in May 1903, the collect amounted to more than 6,000 pesetas and the flag was presented at the Parés Hall, the oldest art gallery in Barcelona.
Riqer's final design (photo, photos) was composed of a senyera of 4 m in length, a floral orle incorporating the emblem of the Unió Catalanista and its foundation year, "any / 1891" (year / 1891), and an embroidered medallion featuring St. George riding and trampling the dragon.
[ Les Bases de Manresa]

The original design has in the fly edge a fringe in national colours, in upper part five yellow and four red starting above with yellow; in the lower part five red and four yellow starting above with red.

Jaume Ollé & Ivan Sache, 16 March 2019